Australia defeated Sri Lanka by 7 wickets with 18 balls to spare chasing down 155 after Sri Lanka’s top order failed to mount potential scores with the threesome of Kusal Janith Perera, Charith Asalanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa not going past the 30-run zone in their second Super 12 game of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday. In reply to Sri Lanka’s 154 for 6 off 20, Australia made 155 for 3 after 17.
Put into bat, Sri Lanka lost Pathum Nissanka for 7 with the total 15 in 2.3 overs, but Charith Asalanka joined Kusal Janith Perera in reviving the innings by a65-run second wicket partnership off 43 balls with both batsmen flexing their arms before Asalanka fell for 35 caight by Steve Smith off leggie Adam Zampa for 35 off 27 inclusive of 4 boundaries and a six. Australia struck fast again eight runs later when Kusal Janith was bowled by Mitchel Starc for 35 reducing Sri Lanka to 86 for 3 after 10.3 overs. His 25-ball knock contained 4 boundaries and a six. Avishka Fernando followed four runs later claimed by Zampa with Smith combing in the second catch off the same bowler and at 90 for 4 after 11.5 Sri Lanka had let slip the second wicket revival between Perera and Asalanka following those two quick blows by Australia who had wrested control of the game by then.. It was Fernando’s second let down in the crucial Super 12 stage. Bhanuka Rajapaksa, at No.4, did hold strong keeping one end going, but Australia’s attack was unrelenting with Starc getting rid of next man in Wanindu Hasaranga for 4 caught by Wade making it 5 for 94 after 12.2. The Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka joined Rajapaksa in taking Sri Lanka past the 100-mark in a fighting 40-run alliance for the sixth wicket when Cummins had the former caught by Wade for 12 off 19 with just the boundary with the total 134 for 6 after 17.4. Rajapaksa and Chamika Karunaratne, 9 off 6 (1×4) added 20 off the remaining 14 deliveries for a 26-ball unbeaten 33 containing 4 boundaries and a six.
Zampa’s 2 for 12 and unbeaten 16 earned him the Player of the match in a contest that Australia hastened to victory on the back of a 42-ball 69 by David Warner containing 10 boundaries in adding 70 off 41 balls for the first wicket with skipper Aaron Finch who made 37 off 23 inclusive of 5 fours and 2 sixes. The partnership was broken by leggie Wanindu Hasaranga who bowled the Australian skipper as Sri Lanka followed it up with the dismissal of Glenn Maxwell with Hasaranga claiming his second wicket having him caught by Fernando for 5 as Australia reached 80 for 2 after 8.3 overs. But the advent of Steve Smith, who made an unbeaten 28 off 26 with just the boundary, saw him add 50 for the third wicket off 33 balls with Warner who was caught by Rajapaksa off Dasun Shanaka with the total reading 130. That was as far as the Lankan bowlers would go as Smith and Stonis, who struck 2 boundaries and a six, took Australia to victory after 17 overs.
In that lost cause, Hasaranga was the pick of the Lankan bowlers with 2 for 22 while skipper Dasun Shanaka took the other wicket to fall conceding 6 in just the solitary over.
Sri Lanka 154/6 (20 Overs) RR: 7.70
(Kusal Janith Perera 35, Charith Asalanka 35, Bhanuka Rajapaksa n.o. 33, Dasun Shanaka 12, Chamika Karunaratne n.o. 9, Adam Zampa 2/12, Pat Cummins 2/34, Mitchell Starc 2/27)
Australia 155/3 (17 Overs) RR 9.11
(David Warner 65, Aaron Finch 37, Steve Smith n.o. 28, Marcus Stonis n.o. 15, Wanindu Hasaranga 2/22, Dasun Shanaka 1/6)